People call this Troll 3 but it’s not. Quest For The Mighty Sword is also considered Troll 3, but Quest is also known as Ator III, The Hobogoblin. We could go down a wormhole with Italian titles and it’s very common that your favorite horror films have sequels you never knew about. Most of the time they literally have nothing to do with the original […]
Never Too Young To Die is coming to Blu-ray. I can and can’t believe I’m typing that. Through these past couple years multiple companies have been releasing oddities more and more and I couldn’t be happier about it. Never Too Young To Die has been a favorite of mine for years and I’m ecstatic that people will get […]
PHANTASM has been a hole in horror fans’ Blu-ray collections for far too long. For a film so visually exciting to be unavailable in HD was a crime. Luckily for us, J.J. Abrams felt the same and his company Bad Robot spearheaded a 4K restoration of the film and Well Go USA brings it to Blu this week. The only thing holding many fans back from jumping on this release day 1 is that Well Go originally announced a full PHANTASM series box set and instead we are only seeing parts 1 and 5 arrive on disc with a paltry selection of features. I hold out hope that a complete box set featuring not only all of the films, but also all of the bonus features previously offered on DVD worldwide will be announced soon.
Umbrella Entertainment continues their streak of offering high-def Australian options for films unavailable or out of print on Blu-ray in the States with this latest release. Chuck Russell’s 1988 remake of THE BLOB is heralded as one of the greatest remakes of all time and an outstanding ’80s creature feature. Twilight Time acquired the rights to this highly sought after title for its domestic HD debut and their limited edition of 5,000 copies sold out soon after. Well now fans who missed out on that release can get this celebrated classic on Blu-ray and the only thing extra it’ll cost them is the shipping cost to import it. All of the Umbrella Blus I have are region free, but it should be noted that the company has not confirmed whether or not this release will be region locked. Of course if you’re a BLOB free region free collector this causes no issue and you can pre-order away.
Kino Lorber is a company that has been steadily putting out good Blu-ray releases for years. With their discs you can count on solid transfers and usually a few supplements. Some releases, such as their excellent QUATERMASS XPERIMENT and MIRACLE MILE Blus, are so packed with bonus features that they would be called Collector’s Editions by most other companies. But even with all that, Kino does not have the same rabid fan base of an Arrow or a Synapse. Maybe it’s because their catalogue isn’t made up of the same recognizable titles that drive cult movie fans crazy when other labels announce them, but I always get interested when I hear the newest set of Kino announcements.
Joel and Ethan Coen are two of the most eclectic filmmakers of all time. They can move from screwball comedy to dark morality play to satire over the course of three films. You never know what to expect from one of their films before that first trailer hits. This sense of surprise goes back to their debut film BLOOD SIMPLE, which played a couple of film festivals in late 1984 before being given a wide release in January 1985. The film came out of nowhere and was instantly praised by critics as a suspense filled neo-noir. The Coens went from industry outliers (Joel’s only previous credits were as assistant editor on THE EVIL DEAD and FEAR NO EVIL) to filmmakers praised for their assured camera work, tight script, and the dark sense of humor that would permeate the rest of their career.
Joe Dante arrived on horror fans’ radars in the late ’70s with his unique brand of witty horror films for the monster kid generation. The early ’90s saw Dante getting more personal with a pair of films he made with writer Charlie Haas and producer Michael Finnell. GREMLINS 2 was a much anticipated sequel to Dante’s biggest hit, but instead of doing the obvious and telling another dark tale featuring the little monsters, he made a comedy that skewered the idea of sequels while being filled to the brim with references to any and everything he loved in film and television. MATINEE came 3 years after GREMLINS 2 failed to incite much interest at the box office and unfortunately met a similar fate. Set during the Cuban Missile Crisis, MATINEE sees army brat and Dante surrogate Gene (Simon Fenton) move to Key West with his family. While annihilation hangs over the heads of everyone in town, Gene is more interested in the horror films of William Castle-esque schlockmeister Lawrence Woolsey (John Goodman). The film deftly mixes nuclear paranoia and horror fandom with a sweet coming-of-age story, making it a film genre aficionados can enjoy just as much as families.
Marvel Comics resident vigilante The Punisher is currently undergoing an onscreen renaissance thanks to Jon Bernthal’s powerful portrayal in the second season of DAREDEVIL. But before Marvel Studios could give us a comic accurate representation, we saw incarnations of Frank Castle on the big screen performed by Ray Stevenson (PUNISHER: WAR ZONE), Thomas Jane (2004’s THE PUNISHER), and Dolph Lundgren (1989’s THE PUNISHER). It’s this original film that is being given the HD treatment this week by Australian outfit Umbrella Entertainment. While you will still need to pay for some extra shipping to import the disc, according to Umbrella’s website this release is region free. I own their previous release of RAZORBACK and that indeed plays fine on region A players, so you should feel safe ordering this edition if you’re in the U.S.